via CBS San Francisco, 28 October 2020: Civil suit filed against the Asian Art Museum to return two lintels looted from temples in Thailand.
The federal government has filed a civil lawsuit and was asking the Board of Directors of San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum “to do the right thing” and return religious artwork illegally removed from ancient temples to the people of Thailand.
The artworks have been a point of contention since 2017.
“U.S. law requires U.S. museums to respect the rights of other countries to their own historical artifacts,” U.S. Attorney David Anderson said in a news release. “For years we have tried to get the Asian Art Museum to return this stolen artwork to Thailand. With this federal filing, we call on the Museum’s Board of Directors to do the right thing.”
The civil complaint filed Monday in federal court seeks the forfeiture of two 1,500-pound hand-carved sandstone lintels the government contends were looted from ancient temples in Thailand.